So, when I was in Washington visiting the Buggy Barn, Nicole and I saw this kit for the Blackbird Designs pattern, Hallowe'en 1904.
We both jumped up and down and squealed like schoolgirls, or maybe it was just me, but there was definitely nothing but smiles and joy all around. That quilt was on both our To Do Lists, we both had already bought the pattern, but up until that day had not been able to put together the fabric we needed to make that quilt. Now all we needed to do was get home, free up some time, and get to sewing. Talk about perfect timing, who wants to work on this quilt anytime of the year besides October!
All the stars in the Blackbird Designs pattern, all 52 stars, are appliquéd . The quilt on display at the Buggy Barn had pieced stars, stars pieced using the Buggy Barn Crazy Way.
Here's what Buggy Barn Crazy Way stars look like.
This is their pattern Barn Raising, which is in the book Gone Crazy.
To make the stars you stack several layers of fabric, face up, then just using 8 swipes, you cut the pieces, shuffle the pieces, and sew them all back together. If you look real close at the stars in the quilt above you'll notice they are scrappy, made by shuffling up those pieces. The gals at the Buggy Barn have used this technique to make several different sorts of blocks, like birds, hearts, and different stars.
I immediately decided I wanted to make my stars like the Buggy Barn. My machine appliqué skills are not that great, I figured I would limit my lack of appliqué skills to the pumpkins.
So the first thing I needed to do was to teach myself how to make the stars using the Buggy Barn Crazy method. Looking at the pattern provided in the book, Gone Crazy, I thought I needed to shrink it down to get the size I needed for the 1904 pattern. That's why I made that itsy bitsy star in the center of the picture below. That was my first attempt, it turned out great, other than the size. I didn't account for how much the star would shrink once pieced and trimmed.
So I made a few more to understand the process and get a feel for the size I wanted. ( I also double checked the size of the corner triangles and the finished size of the block, that's that square in a square block. When it comes to math, I don't trust anybody!)
They were fun and easy to make, something different, and had a good look that went with the pattern, which filled me with relief, no applique stars for me.
One thing that I came to understand while practicing my stars, the crazy method works best when you're using all the parts. What I mean is if I have two pieces of material, one red and one cream, using their method I will have the pieces for a red star on a cream background and a cream star on a red background. Well I didn't need cream stars, I needed black and orange stars. So instead of stacking and slicing each block, I figured I would save fabric by making templates of each piece that was sliced.
So here's what the star looks like all sliced up. I just took the paper pattern and glued it to hard template plastic.
Then I cut them out and labeled them.
By piecing the stars in this fashion I will save fabric and be able to cut my pieces from strips.
Here are my first two stars using the templates.
So I determined that I needed 3 1/2" strips for the stars and 4 1/2" strips for the star backgrounds. For the rest of the pattern I also needed strips for the hsts and for the outer border.
So I cut all my strips at once, they are hanging and ready to go.
If you look real close you can see how I have each group labeled, so I don't get confused.
So once I had everything figured out and cut out, the only thing left to do was sew!
This is my first block. I've decided to not chain piece all the pieces for each section, then assemble all the blocks at once. I've waited so long to make this quilt I want to enjoy every block and pick out each combination of fabric for each block. My goal is to make one complete block a day.
For the first block I went with 2 different blacks for the stars with two different backgrounds, and you can't tell from the picture but the outer border has a design. The top and right side hsts are the same black and background fabric and the bottom and left side are made using the same fabric, but different from the other hsts, if that makes sense. I intend to play around with the hsts on all the blocks, using different fabrics, designs, and patterns. I think the blocks in the pattern are all scrappy. You know me, I've got to plan and control my scrappy.
Nicole has decided to appliqué her stars and has a good start on them, check out her progress here.
jmniffer won the ruler/template/tool of her choice, leaving this comment,
" I've enjoyed your tool reviews; you covered many I wondered about,several I've never heard of and the two I do own. Next on my list is the fit to be Geese rulers...Christmas is coming and I'm starting a list! Tnks for the chance at your giveaway."
The Omni-grid rulers combined, 6 1/2" square, 12 1/2" square and all the other assorted sizes were the most popular. The most popular individual ruler was the Fit to be Geese, it wasn't even close. I've got a new list of rulers that are some folks favorite that I've never even heard of! Sounds like another Tools Tuesday post will be in my future! Thanks to all who stopped by to tell me how much they enjoyed the series, I have to admit, I'll miss doing those posts too.
Enjoy your weekend, if all goes well I should have a few more 1904 blocks done by Monday.